Hepatoprotective, antixidant and anticancer activities of Terminalia brownii Fresen leaf abstract
Liver diseases are major public health and economical conundrum across the globe, particularly, in developing countries. Modern drugs for treatment of the disease have a number of drawbacks and consequently there is an upsurge of interest in using herbal medicines as alternative or adjuvant therapy. Terminalia brownii Fresen (family: Combretaceae) has been widely used for treatment of a variety of ailments including liver diseases, but the hepatoprotective, antioxidant and anticancer activities of the plant were not studied before. In this study the 80% methanol leaf extract of the plant was evaluated for its hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rat and in vitro anticancer activity against HepG2 human hepatoma cancer cells. Administration of CCl4 significantly (p < 0.001) increased the plasma levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), while reducing catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes in the toxin group compared with the normal group. Pretreatment of rats with 250 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg of the 80% methanolic leaf extract of T. brownii and sylimarin (100 mg/kg) resulted in hepatoprotective and antioxidant activities as evidenced by significant reduction in plasma transaminases level (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001) and increment in CAT and SOD compared to toxin group. Moreover, the results of serum markers analysis were further confirmed by histopathological examination of the liver where extract and sylimarin treated groups showed improved architecture and reduction of necrosis compared with the toxin group. The extract also showed anticancer activity against HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma with 50% cell growth inhibitory concentration (CTC50) of 0.384 mg/ml. In conclusion, T. brownii leaf extract contains phytochemicals with hepatoprotective, antioxidant and anticancer activities that justify its traditional use and its potential for treatment of liver diseases including hepatocellular carcinoma.
Keywords: Terminalia brownie, anticancer, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, hepatocellular carcinoma